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This is taken from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's website:
On April 22, 1970-the first Earth Day-legislation was signed creating the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation-one of the first government agencies specifically formed for the purpose of overseeing all environmental concerns through one organization. The legislation provided for a melding of the duties of the old Conservation Department, with responsibility for some programs from the Department of Health and some state commissions to DEC, and the creation of entirely new disciplines within the agency.
DEC opened its doors on July 1, 1970, and immediately began to wrestle with the urgent problems of the day-such as pesticides, mercury pollution, solid waste, and recreational access-and with the need to create an organization structured to deliver services across the state.
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